Struggles that LGBTQ+ individuals face often arise because of external reactions to their identified sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Negative, unsupportive messages or fear of reactions from family, friends and society in general can lead to feelings of guilt, fear, isolation and lack of confidence for LGBTQ+ individuals who would otherwise be mentally healthy. Often, these environmental issues are what propel an individual to seek counseling.

Common challenges that LGBTQ+ students may experience:

  • You are experiencing tension and/or harassment from another due to your sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • You are experiencing confusion about your sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • You feel at odds with social gender messages.
  • You are exploring "coming out" to peers, professors, family or friends and would like help determining how to address these issues.
  • You identify as bisexual and feel like nobody gets it.
  • You are an LGBTQ+ person of color and are experiencing multiple forms of oppression.
  • You are trying to accept/understand another's sexual orientation or gender identity and want to talk to someone.
  • You have an LGBTQ+ parent(s) and are concerned about establishing relationships with people who will accept your family's diversity.
  • You are comfortable with your sexual orientation and gender identity and want to address other issues with a therapist who is equally comfortable.

Resources for LGBTQ+ Students

  • The UMass Lowell LGBTQ+ Diversity Webpage: A webpage with information and both on-campus and off-campus resources.
  • UMass Lowell Bias Reporting: If students are experiencing instances of bias against them or acted upon others, they can anonymously report these through this webpage.
  • Fenway Health Center: The mission of Fenway Health in Boston is to enhance the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy.
  • Legal Resources: This website provides a highly useful index of organizations and legal resources for the LGBTQ+ community. This index is a great reference tool complete with legal, political and media resources for LGBTQ+ topics.
  • Trans Student Educational Resources: This website includes trans and gender non-conforming resources and educational materials to create more trans-friendly environments.
  • Human Sexuality is Complicated: A YouTube video
  • Lambda 10 Project: This website seeks to heighten the visibility of gay issues through highlighting fraternity/sorority experiences, relevant news clips and speakers for campus events.

Content adapted with permission from the University of Kentucky.